CH.LXVI DECLINE OF SAFAVI DYNASTY 297 felt for the sacred house, its rule was accepted by the people until the virility of the nation itself was corrupted. Then an awful penalty had to be paid in blood and shame for neglect of all the precautions by which the existence of states is preserved. Shah Soft, A,H. 1038-1052 (1629-1642).—Shah Abbas, when dying, ordered that Sam Mirza, son of the un- fortunate Safi Mirza, should be proclaimed his successor. The new monarch took the title of Shah Safi, and his reign of thirteen years was one long chapter of executions. He murdered the princes of the blood royal, and even some of the princesses, and, not content with thus secur- ing his power, deliberately put to death all his grandfather's most trusted councillors and generals. Among his victims was Imam Kuli Khan, the conqueror of Hormuz. We learn from Tavernier and Olearius, who with Chardin constitute our chief authorities for the period, that the great noble was warned not to venture to court, but relying on his long years of faithful service he obeyed the summons and was put to death. His sons shared his fate, lest they should avenge his death when they grew up. The Holstein Embassy, 1637.—The pioneer efforts of Jenkinson'to trade with Persia across Russia ended in failure, as recorded in Chapter LXII. A fresh effort was made in the seventeenth century from a new quarter, but by the same route. The silk manufactures of Holstein were considerable and, the raw silk of Persia attracting the attention of its merchants, the Duke decided to despatch Brucman, a Hamburg merchant who had originated the scheme, on an embassy to the Shah. The mission made disadvantageous arrangements with the Grand Duke of Muscovy for free transit, and upon arriving in Persia found that the freight and customs charges would eat up all the profits. Brucman, to avoid returning empty-handed, then tried to negotiate an alliance against Turkey. The failure and blunders which cost him his life are recorded in the work of Adam Olearius,1 who was the secretary of the mission. The 1 Relation dt voyage^ Paris, 1639.